Teramo: Ivan Basso required 15 stitches to close deep cuts above his right eye and on his cheek after a fall Tuesday during training for the Tour de France.
Last year's Giro d'Italia winner was just beginning a training camp on Mount Etna in Sicily. He fell on his face and right shoulder while navigating a curve in the road, the Liquigas team said.
Stitches were applied at a small emergency center on the mountain and Basso was then taken to a local hospital where tests showed no broken bones.
The Tour begins July 2.
"I was really scared, because the impact was violent and in a delicate area," Basso said. "I didn't need this accident but it certainly won't stop my preparation for the Tour. I'll restart my approach gradually over the next few days."
Basso finished third in the 2004 Tour and second in 2005. He is skipping this year's Giro.
Alberto Contador won a Giro stage that went up Mount Etna on Sunday.